News that Iran has handed a victory to protesters and abolished its morality police is being reported by all the major American news outlets, but some Iranian journalists are calling the move “disinformation” and “a PR stunt,” claiming the Sunday announcement by Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri is “a tactic to stop the uprising” that has, for three months, seen fed-up Iranians take to the street and more than 300 people killed.
The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, and many other news sources declared on Sunday that Iran’s AG, while speaking at a religious conference, was asked if the morality police, which enforces Iran’s Islamic dress code, including hijabs, would be disbanded.
“The morality police had nothing to do with the judiciary and have been shut down from where they were set up,” he reportedly replied.
The New York Times took to Twitter and called it “a significant victory for feminists who have sought for years to dismantle the morality police.”
The decision, reported by state news outlets, appeared to be a significant victory for feminists who have sought for years to dismantle the morality police. Abolishing the force would have a major impact on Iran's ability to police what women wear. https://t.co/or4yqJJz54 pic.twitter.com/8nJ49ktCoa
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 4, 2022
But according to Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, the international media shouldn’t fall for the story.
“It’s disinformation that Islamic Republic of Iran has abolished it’s [sic] morality police. It’s a tactic to stop the uprising,” she tweeted. “Protesters are not facing guns and bullets to abolish morality police or forced hijab. They want to end Islamic regime. ”
As BizPac Review reported in October, the protests were sparked in September by the funeral of Mahsa Amini, 22, who was detained by the morality police in Tehran.
Calls of “Death to Khamenei” and regime-ending change have been spraypainted and chanted in the nation ever since, and, as Iran News Update noted, more protests are scheduled for Dec. 5, 6, and 7.
#IranRevolution2022—December 3, Day 79
Gilan, N #Iran—Protesters write calls in graffiti for further protests on December 5, 6, and 7 in Bandar Anzali.#KianPirfalak#MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/5wSfrJQnoN
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) December 4, 2022
According to Alinejad, “abolishing morality police in Iran is disinformation but it shows the fear of the regime.”
In its report, CNN stated, “Iranian state media strongly pushed back on [Montazeri’s] comments, saying the interior ministry oversees the force, not the judiciary.”
It’s a point journalists in Iran and activists are trying hard to hammer home.
Morality police hasn’t been abolished in Iran.
This is a lie to deceive protester and to divide them just before nationwide calls for protests in the next coming days. #MahsaAmini
— Sima Sabet | سیما ثابت (@Sima_Sabet) December 4, 2022
After months of killing, rape, torture & other unimaginable atrocities #Iran regime is reportedly abolishing its "morality police." Clearly a desperate move & obvious they fear the end is near. REMINDER: Iranian people are demanding regime change.
— Dr. Nina Ansary (@drninaansary) December 4, 2022
Writes author Arash Azizi, “One more reason why ‘Morality Police is Disbanded/dissolved’ headlines don’t make sense is this: the Guidance Patrol (official name) is not a unit to be dissolved. It is a program run by the police, run on the basis of Council of Cultural Revolution directives.”
“So it is a practice that can be discontinued,” he continued, “but the police and Judiciary can still use many other ways to prosecute those not wearing Hijab.”
So it is a practice that can be discontinued but the police and Judiciary can still use many other ways to prosecute those not wearing Hijab
— Arash Azizi آرش عزیزی (@arash_tehran) December 4, 2022
Meanwhile, NPR reported at the end of November that “Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the aerospace division of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, was quoted by a website close to the Guard as saying that more than 300 people have been killed, including ‘martyrs,’ an apparent reference to security forces. He also suggested that many of those killed were ordinary Iranians not involved in the protests.”
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